Business intelligence (BI) is a process that converts raw data into informed actions. It collects, structures, visualizes, and analyzes information that a company already has in order to give stakeholders, executives, and team leaders the ability to make better decisions faster. It can be used to support a wide range of business decisions, from long-term planning to day-to-day operational details. On a strategic level, a company’s positioning, pricing, priorities, and product roadmap can all benefit from business intelligence.
The process of business intelligence can be divided into four stages:
1. Data gathering
2. Data cleaning and standardization
4. Reporting and visualizations
Generally, BI tools are more effective when they combine internal and external datasets. For example, one of the most popular reporting tools — Google Analytics — reports mainly on internal data, while Google Data Studio is able to import data from multiple platforms and then perform analysis on it. This provides added context that Analytics lacks, giving a holistic view of the company’s performance against the industry.
Logging tools aim to facilitate the generation, transmission, analysis, and storage of log data produced by applications and infrastructure.
Application performance monitoring (APM) tools then use that log data to track various systems, such as servers, networks, databases, and websites, in order to monitor performance, stay ahead of any potential issues, and ensure that users can access the system.
Business intelligence (BI) tools take logging and monitoring one step further, helping enterprises to analyze and visualize data in order to make better business decisions. The data is commonly collected into a data warehouse or data mart, where it can be organized and presented in historical, current, and predictive views. BI tools are used to increase operational efficiency, identify new revenue potential, spot market trends and support business health planning.
Predictive analytics, which analyzes past events to forecast future business trends, can be considered the next stage of business intelligence.
When considering what type of platform will fit best within you organization, you should consider whether you want a plug-and-play tool that serves as a comprehensive one-stop shop for BI (such as Birst), or something that focuses solely on dashboarding and visualization (like Tableau). It depends on your strategy and how data-driven your organization already is.
Typically, key features of BI technologies include data and process mining, reporting, benchmarking, descriptive analytics, complex event processing, statistical analysis, data visualization, and visual analysis.
BI tools give decisionmakers a comprehensive and unified view of their organization’s data. With that view, they can then drive change, eliminate inefficiencies, and quickly adapt to changes. Analysts within the organization can use BI to:
1. Set performance and competitor benchmarks
2. Track market trends
3. Identify opportunities
4. Analyze customer behavior
5. Evaluate performance
6. Optimize operations
7. Forecast profits
The benefits of BI tools include:
1. Faster and more accurate reporting and analysis
2. Better business decisions
3. Improved data quality
4. Improved employee and customer satisfaction
5. Improved operational efficiency
Business intelligence as a field is still evolving and growing, especially with the emerging potential of AI and ML. As companies strive to innovate, BI tools will play a crucial role in providing the insights necessary to succeed.
Pingdom’s website monitoring platform enables you to monitor your website’s availability and performance with features like uptime monitoring, real user monitoring, synthetic interaction testing, page speed monitoring, alerting, and root cause analysis. It also offers a popular free tool, the Pingdom Website Speed Test, which can be used to test your website or a competitor’s website for load time, page size, and performance in general. Pingdom was acquired by SolarWinds in 2014.Visit Website
Nagios provides enterprise-class open source monitoring including data gathering, data archiving, dashboards, and alerting for systems, networks, and infrastructure. Its products include Nagios XI for server and network monitoring, Nagios Log Server for centralized log management, Nagios Network Analyzer for netflow analysis, and Nagios Fusion for a centralized view of monitoring infrastructure.
Originally released in 2002, Nagios is one of the older monitoring tools still available today. Its strengths lie in its scalability for simple and static setups, easy to understand plugin architecture, and deep ecosystem of plugins for extending functionality. It also has a number of popular direct alternatives including Check_MK, which began life as a Nagios extension, and Icinga, a Nagios fork.Visit Website
Keen IO is a platform built for developers to ship custom user-facing metrics. It can collect, store, enrich, and then send data to systems like Amazon S3.
Similar to Mixpanel and Kissmetrics, Keen IO provides a code snippet to put in your application, website, or server, at which point it begins recording event data like clicks and conversions. Keen IO has a cloud database that stores that event data, analytics APIs that can run counts, sums, funnels, and more, and visualization tools that allow you to chart and display your data in dashboards.
Opsgenie by Atlassian is a cloud-based incident management platform for operating always-on services. It provides reliable alerts, on-call schedule management, and escalations. In terms of standout features, it has a quiet hours feature that lets you disable alerts, as well as a heartbeats feature that generates notifications if scheduled jobs don’t check in within the allotted timeframe. OpsGenie has a friendly UI that’s easy to use, as well as competitive pricing.Visit Website
Beats are lightweight data shippers that can be installed as agents on your servers to send specific types of operational data to Elasticsearch. Beats have a small footprint and use fewer system resources than Logstash. Elastic provides Beats for capturing audit data, log files, availability, metrics, network traffic, and Windows event logs. Beats can also be created and shared with the open source community.Visit Website
Moogsoft provides Algorithmic IT Operations (AIOps) solutions that streamline IT incident resolution. Features include noise reduction, agile workflows, event clustering and correlation, and root cause analysis.Visit Website
PagerDuty is an incident management platform for IT departments that provides reliable incident notifications via email, push, SMS, and phone, as well as automatic escalations, on-call scheduling, and other functionality to help teams detect and fix infrastructure problems quickly.Visit Website
Graphite is a free, open source tool that monitors and graphs numeric time-series data, which is typically collected from collection daemons or other monitoring solutions, such as Nagios or Prometheus. Once the data is collected, Graphite has a built-in UI that provides useful visualizations via its Django web application. Graphite can be used to track the performance of websites, applications, business services, and networked servers.
While Graphite does not provide plug-ins, there are a lot of existing tools that are Graphite-compatible. Grafana is often used with Graphite to extend its functionality.Visit Website
Grafana is an open source visualization tool with support for many databases, including Graphite, InfluxDB, Prometheus, and Elasticsearch. It is designed for analyzing and visualizing metrics such as system CPU, memory, disk and I/O utilization. Grafana does not collect data, but allows you to connect to data sources like Prometheus or Graphite. It is a popular solution for bringing together and visualizing disparate data sources.
In Grafana, users can create versatile dashboards with graph, singlestat, table,and freetext panels. Dashboards and panels are fully customizable and can be annotated to track specific events. These dashboards can be used for everything from identifying anomalies and debugging applications, to gaining actionable insights on user behavior.
APImetrics is an API performance and quality monitoring system that has two primary functions: API monitoring, for taking the pulse of your API product and user experience, and SLA measurement to monitor the performance of third-party APIs that integrate with your product.Visit Website